How to Host the Perfect Friendsgiving


Happy November, everyone! Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here and that means spending time with our loved ones and sharing lots of good food. But let’s not forget one of the newest fall traditions: Friendsgiving! If you’re thinking about hosting, below are a few ways to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, plus a few helpful recipe tips from the Macy’s Culinary Council!

So what is friendsgiving? Simply put: It’s a celebration much like your average Thanksgiving dinner—but with friends! Maybe you have a pal who can’t travel home for the holiday or perhaps you haven’t seen your high school crew in forever, this is your chance to invite ’em. Typically, it occurs one of the weekends leading up to its sister holiday and is the perfect excuse to par-tay and eat comfort food.  Ok, now let’s talk turkey…


The best thing about a Friendsgiving affair is that it is historically a potluck, which means everybody brings a dish and you, as host, coordinate the menu so that there are no repeats. It’s also the best way to guarantee you’re not trapped cooking in the kitchen all day! Typically, the host makes the turkey and gravy, but more on that later. So assign your friends different courses, like an appetizer, side dish, drink or dessert, whatever their specialty. Oh, and don’t worry about leftovers. I don’t think you’ll have any issues convincing your friends to take some home (if there are any)!

Need some inspiration? Scroll through for recipe ideas from our Macy’s Culinary Council Chefs, and share it with your friends who can’t decide what to bring!


“It’s the perfect time of year for wild mushrooms. Try chopping them finely and sautéing them until they’re soft, and then serve them on a crostini with a delicious ripe Camembert cheese.” —Chef Tom Douglas


“Butternut squash makes a beautiful, velvety soup. I like to garnish it with toasted pecans or pumpkin seeds.” —Chef Tom Douglas


“Dinner doesn’t have to be so traditional. Take a turkey breast, thin it out and roll stuffing in it like a pinwheel or make a turkey porchetta with fresh cranberry sauce!”
—Chef Tom Douglas


“Everyone loves sweet potatoes. Nuts and dried fruits really bring out both their sweetness and earthiness.” —Chef Marcus Samuelsson


“I love spaghetti squash because it’s a carbohydrate and vegetable all in one. My favorite and easiest way to prepare it is with a ginger-butter drizzle on top.”
—Chef Ming Tsai


“I always prefer to do an assortment of smaller items so there is something for everyone. Like a sweet fruit dessert and then something rich for the chocoholics.”
Chef Johnny Iuzzini


“For a quick apple tart, you can buy frozen pie dough from the grocery store. Toss chopped granny smith apples with caramel sauce and then roll up the edges of the dough for a rustic caramel apple tart.” —Chef Tom Douglas


“I like cocktails to be seasonal, just like the food. So I make my own apple cider and use it in all kinds of drinks” —Chef Marc Forgione

110116_home_friendsgiving_image01For more recipe inspo, check out Macy’s Culinary Council!110116_home_friendsgiving_image01


Your tablescape doesn’t have to be so traditional. Feel free to mix ‘n’ match festive, colorful plates and use stemless wine tumblers or mason jars as drinkware; you can really fill them with anything—wine, whiskey, soda or water—the options are endless! Another tip? Consider serving your food buffet-style so everyone can help themselves and see what their friends made!

Featured: Noritake 4-Pc. place setting; The Cellar stemless wine set; Mikasa flatware set; Vera Wang Wedgewood 5-Pc. place setting; Lenox Tuscany red wine glasses; Bardwil table runner

Back to you as host: Give yourself enough time to clean and/or defrost the turkey in the days leading up to the big event. And if you’re on a budget, a whole turkey tends to be more cost efficient than just the breast. As for the goods, here are some important things to keep on hand:

• Cooking times can differ, so a meat thermometer is essential. Plan on ~20 minutes per pound in a 350˚ oven.

• A sharp knife is your best friend when it comes to carving the bird. Replace dull knives or sharpen them with a sharpener! (Hint: Don’t forget to let the bird rest before carving…otherwise all those tasty juices will spill out and make the turkey dry. Oh no!)

• For a rustic display that looks super cool, we suggest serving up your masterpiece on a wooden butcher’s block.


Featured: J.A. Henckels 2-Pc. carving set; Catskill slab cutting board; Calphalon roaster with rack; Martha Stewart Collection oven mitt; Calphalon jelly roll pan; All-Clad 3 qt. saucepan; Calphalon 5 qt. sauté pan; Martha Stewart Collection serving spoon

110116_home_friendsgiving_image01Check out for all your hosting essentials. And for even more menu planning help, check out Coast to Coast, Macy’s newest online resource, to discover other recipes from the Macy’s Culinary Council!

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